By Geo A. Ropert, APR
It was one of the lessons many of us were taught at a young age, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Now as a kid, your first thought probably was, “Why would I want to make two trips to the henhouse if all the eggs fit into that one basket? Adults are so dumb!”
Fast-forward many years and we’ve learned that putting all our money in one stock or company is clearly not the best choice. Diversity protects us from the ups and downs of the economy and risks that accompany it. Lots of baskets means a better chance most of the eggs don’t break if one is dropped.
But from the ramp of the henhouse up the steps of the corporate ladder, a single-basket model has been making its way through small, mid-size and even large businesses; the merging of public relations and marketing into one, assuring the messages and tactics that build a company’s reputation, reach and goodwill help with the goal of growing sales and profits.
The internet and social media will take credit for this in today’s landscape, as content and how it’s communicated crosses over into the domains previously reserved for either PR or marketing. But this isn’t really “new,” it’s just getting more visibility as a business model.
The integration of disciplines date back to the late 1980s. In a 1994 article by Barbara Rose and Debra Miller in The Journalism Educator entitled Merging Advertising and PR: Integrated Marketing Communications the authors write, “Regardless of the theoretical debate, the reality is that more and more clients are taking a multidisciplinary approach to corporate communication planning. Several forces account for this trend: (a) Agency mega-mergers combined with greater emphasis on niche marketing have reduced the need for clients to turn to multiple specialty firms (ad agencies, public relations agencies, direct response agencies, sales promotion agencies, etc.); (b) An increased emphasis on bottom-line profits has spurred agencies to add functions; (c) The proliferation of small, multipurpose agencies in smaller markets; and (d) A perceived need on the part of clients to integrate communications.”
What we’re seeing now is more firms like ours providing public relations and integrated marketing services under one roof to better serve our clients. By having PR professionals who can help grow a company’s brand reputation and image, working with experts who can implement tactics that include email and direct marketing, along with SEO and social media, we create a powerful team that delivers consistency and continuity in messaging across all media platforms. This gives us an advantage over single-purpose agencies and allows us to laser-focus our combined efforts on our clients’ target markets for maximum impact and results.
Other advantages of this model are cost and efficiency. A company isn’t paying for multiple firms to achieve its communication goals and the combined team works in unison, avoiding duplicitous and sometimes conflicting efforts. One firm, one price, one goal: your success!
Think it’s not for your business? Companies like Nissan, Virgin America, Warner Bros. and Uniliver, along with London-based insurance powerhouse Aviva have combined their PR and marketing. Each understands that integration helps build a more coherent and effective communication platform that also can quickly respond to crisis issues through its multiple communication channels and connections.
Give it some thought. Then give us a call. We’ll have breakfast and talk. Do you like your eggs sunny side up or over easy?
Geo A. Ropert, APR is president of Ropert and Partners, a public relations and integrated marketing communications firm. His team of senior-level professionals provide businesses and organizations with customized strategies and services that help build great brands and increase revenue. Call (321) 205-3155 or firstname.lastname@example.org